REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Review

The REI Co-op Travel Organizer works best as a sling; however, it can transform into a pouch or mount onto your tray table, which is handy in a pinch.

Our Verdict

7.7 /10
Good info






Unlock the Pro Summary

Save time. Get access to brief summaries of our reviews so you can browse and make decisions more efficiently.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In


  • The materials and hardware are durable enough to handle rugged travel
  • The front pocket is well-padded to protect your gear
  • Having the ability to attach to your tray table is handy for flights


  • There isn’t a ton of room or gear organization
  • The thin strap can dig in
  • There’s no aeration on the strap or back panel

Technical Details

100 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 145/145 Airlines

72 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (oz)

    6 oz (170.1 g)

  • Dimensions

    9 in x 6 in x 2.5 in (22.9 x 15.2 x 6.4 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Recycled Nylon, YKK Zippers, Woojin Hardware

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Warranty Information

    REI Return Policy

Full Review

The REI Co-op Travel Organizer plays a few roles, and we’re amped to give them all a go. You can wear it as a sling, attach it to your tray table, and use it as an organizer inside your pack. Some of our favorite gear can do multiple things, saving money and space in your bag. However, just because something can do something doesn’t mean it’ll do it well. Because of this, we’re excited to see how this crossbody bag performs. Let’s dive in!

External Components

The primary material that we’re working with is recycled nylon, which is bluesign® approved. This means it’s certified sustainably sourced, which we’re here for. This is the norm for REI Co-op products, so you can confidently shop as an environmentally-friendly traveler! At the time of writing, the pack only comes in black. We dig the look, but we wish more options were available.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Front
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | We dig the size of this thing.

The zippers are from YKK, which is a good sign. YKK makes some of the best zippers in the business, and these are no exception. They’re smooth and easy to operate. We’ve had no issues with them splitting or popping open—YKK’s image remains untarnished, at least at the time of writing!

The buckle on the strap is a small magnetic one from Woojin. It’s pretty easy to get used to; however, if you have large hands, you may struggle with it. Even with bigger flanges, it’s still manageable, just not optimal.

There’s a handle on the side of the pack, which makes carrying it easy unless you’ve got large hands, in which case you might struggle. Your whole hand won’t fit through the loop, but you can stick a couple of fingers through, and it works fine. This is a handy addition because you can stow the strap away and still have a way to carry the bag as a pouch. When you aren’t using it, the hand stays out of the way for the most part. It has REI branding but is small and the only exterior logo. Additionally, you can use this to attach the bag to things using a carabiner or strap.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Full 2
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | In the studio.

On the top of the back panel, there’s a loop. You can stow this away, too, so it won’t dangle around when you aren’t using it. This is handy for hanging the bag on a hook; however, that isn’t its number one purpose. Its inclusion allows you to wrap the strap around your tray table on the plane, loop it through here so it doesn’t slide down, and have a mounted pouch in front of you on the plane, giving you quick access to your phone, travel wallet, headphones, and other goodies while in the air. It is super handy and doesn’t negatively affect usage, so we’re here for this addition.

As we briefly mentioned, you can stow the strap as well. There’s a slit on either side of the bag where you can slide the extra material after you undo the magnetic clasp. This makes it easier to carry the bag and enables you to slide it into your daypack or travel backpack more easily. With everything stowed away, we like to say that the bag is a pouch potato. It doesn’t look like a potato, but isn’t that a fun name?

Fit Notes

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Side By Side
Left: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm) | Right: Kristyne Defever, Height: 5’5” (165 cm), Torso: 17” (43 cm)

The back panel doesn’t have a ton of padding; however, the sling is small enough to where we don’t mind. It doesn’t have any aeration, which can get toasty on a hot day, especially considering the black colorway, but it isn’t worse than other slings that we’ve tested.

The strap is relatively thin; however, this isn’t a huge issue due to the sling’s size. It may dig in a little if you wear a thin shirt or tank top. That said, we haven’t had this issue so far.

You can wear this as a crossbody or as a waist pack, but it feels more natural as a crossbody. That said, it’s nice to have the option to switch if you need or want to.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Strap
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | The strap is thin but works well.

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing harness system, this isn’t the crossbody for you. However, it’s comfortable and easy to pop on and off in most situations, so we dig it as a travel companion.

Inside The Travel Organizer

There’s one secondary compartment to work with, and it’s on the front of the sling. There’s no organization here and generally not a ton of space; however, it’s a solid size to fit your phone, headphones, wallet, gum, snacks, or a combination of smaller items. There’s a lot of padding here, which protects your gear from the bumps and knocks of travel.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) In Use
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | The front pocket is small but mighty.

The main compartment is where the real party is, but there isn’t much space here. Remember, this sling only has a 1.5-liter capacity. Still, you can fit a solid amount of gear inside.

On the front side, a large liner pocket is a safe place to stow your phone. The front portion is well padded from the secondary compartment, and the other has a soft fabric that protects your screen. You can slot other flat items here, but storage for your phone makes the most sense.

On the back side, there are two mesh pockets. They’re stretchy and semi-translucent, so you can see what you have stored inside. They work well for a wallet, charging cables, wall chargers, or other smaller gear. If your tech is too small, it may bounce out in transit; however, we haven’t had that occur yet.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Stuffed Strap
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | The main compartment.

There’s a solid amount of space in the middle area between the organizational features. You can stow larger items here, like small over-ear headphones, a compact or action camera, or larger snack foods. There’s a key clip here, too, which is handy. The strap is incredibly short, which we dig. Typically, we prefer them to be extra long or extra short. The former will enable you to unlock your door without taking the key off the ring, and the latter will completely stay out of your way.

Overall, we’ve been digging using the medium version of the REI Co-op Travel Organizer. At the time of writing, that’s the only one available, but because they call it a medium, there might be more sizes on the way.

REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) Back
REI Co-op Travel Organizer | Ready to hit the road!

Whereas it doesn’t do incredibly well as a pouch, the versatility of using it as one is handy. While traveling, it’s nice to be able to use your gear for more than one thing, and, for us, that puts REI’s Travel Organizer in high regard!

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • The materials feel durable and are sustainably sourced
  • No issues with the hardware so far
  • There’s one loose thread
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • The materials are durable and sustainably sourced
  • We’ve had no issues with the hardware; the zippers and buckles have held up well
  • The strap is thin but comfortable enough for the sling’s size
By Eric Hergenreder
Created April 5, 2024 • Updated April 5, 2024
Access the Pro Community Discussion

Get your questions about the REI Co-op Travel Organizer (Medium) answered from our team and the Pro Community right here on the page. Plus, join discussions with other members about gear, guides, and more.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In